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Park Hills Sets Tax Rate, Moves Forward on New Welcome Sign

The City of Park Hills voted to set the tax rate for this year during Monday night's council meeting, the first for new councilman Mark Cooper, who was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Skip Fangman, who passed away recently.  
The new tax rate is the  same as last year, but an ordinance had to be passed to set the rate. The tax rate for all real property assessed as of January 1, 2016 is fixed at $.209 per $100 of valuation. The road tax for all real property is set at $.155 per $100 of valuation for road maintenance and repairs. The tax rate for all personal property is fixed at $.334 per $100 of assessed valuation, and the tax rate for all corporate franchise and intangible properties is fixed for general purposes at $.75 per $100 valuation.
Council passed a resolution allowing Mayor Matt Mattone to enter into an agreement with Sanitation District 1 with regard to the utility's private lateral repair program. This is a direct result of the settlement agreement between Northern Kentucky cities and SD1 after the cities threatened to sue.
An executive order was passed appointing Mark Cooper to the Personnel and Communications Committees.
Council voted to amend the agenda to include a new sign that council has been discussing for months. The sign will be two-sided and digital and will be placed at the northbound lane of Dixie Highway and South Arlington, welcoming people to the city. Once the agenda was amended, council voted to spend $11,705 for Carpenter Sign Service to fit a new sign into the frame of an old one from Ft Mitchell. Because the city will install the sign, the cost was reduced by $2,375.
Council also discussed having Dan Von Handorf, Director of Public Works, hire a couple of people part-time to help clean up Trolley Park. Councilwoman Pamela Spoor had hired a couple of people to help her work in the park because she can't do it all by herself, she said, but Mayor Mattone pointed out that council members cannot hire or fire for the city, so it was decided that Von Handorf should do the hiring. If there is a problem, Mattone said they should discuss the matter at the upcoming caucus meeting on August 22 at 7 p.m.
It was decided that for now checks and bonds that need signatures should have City Clerk/Treasurer Julie Alig's signature plus that of Police Chief Cody Stanley. However, Mayor Mattone said he thought the decision should be that Stanley and Fire Chief John Rigney should alternate the responsibility, but it, too, will be discussed at the caucus meeting. The step has to be taken because the city has no city manager.
Mayor Mattone told council that the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce approached him about investing in a map advertisement for less than $500, and council wanted to discuss the matter further.
Liz St. Onge, representing the Park Hills Civic Association, came to council to ask about working with the city on a newsletter, which the council agreed to. She also asked about creating a park on the east side of the city, and two sites were suggested: one off Mt. Allen Drive and another at the end of Scenic Drive. St Onge said she would look into both sites. The third issue raised by St. Onge was to seek back-up support for the carriage rides used at Christmas.
Council was supportive, but wanted firmer numbers about what they may be committing to.
Covington Catholic High School Athletic Director Tony Bacigalupo thanked council for its support, and said that there will be three nighttime football games on the campus this year.
Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor